Northern Virginia

Family of Man Slain by Officers on GW Parkway Hopes New Chief Will Get Answers

Bijan Ghaisar was fatally shot by officers in 2017 after a chase on the George Washington Memorial Parkway

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The family of Bijan Ghaisar hopes a new U.S. Park Police chief will help them get some answers in his death, after more than three years.

Two Park Police officers shot and killed Ghaisar, 25, after a chase on the George Washington Memorial Parkway in November 2017.

The officers, Alejandro Amaya and Lucas Vinyard, have been charged in Fairfax County with involuntary manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm, punishable by up to 15 years if convicted.

The officers fired 10 shots at Ghaisar after a stop-and-go car chase that began along the GW Parkway in Alexandria, NBC Washington previously reported. A Fairfax County police dashcam captured the officers following Ghaisar during the car chase.

But neither Park Police nor the FBI have released many details about what happened, and after the shooting, the Ghaisar family, along with local lawmakers, called for Park Police to start wearing body cameras.

On Thursday, Pamela Smith was named the new chief of Park Police, becoming the first Black woman to run the agency. Smith says she plans to implement body cameras across the entire department by the end of the year.

The Ghaisar family released a statement Thursday, saying, “After more than 3 years of silence and lack of leadership, we hope that Chief Smith will bring a new era of integrity and transparency to the Park Police with an emphasis on the safety of the community at large. As Chief Smith assumes her role, we reiterate our calls for the termination of Park Police officers Lucas Vinyard and Alejandro Amaya and an immediate investigation into the murder of our son and brother, Bijan Ghaisar."

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